By FCC regulation there can only be one cable company per community though there are other methods to receive service. However there are more ways nowadays with satellite (DirecTV and Dish) and wherever available Verizon FiOS. In CNY you can even choose NewVisions over TWC although both have their offices in East Syracuse (local ones for national monopoly TWC). In some areas though you'd be lucky to get the one, or even have an old school antenna on the roof (I still have mine). Comcast are still looking into getting TWC so that can change things around too. There used to be large satellite dishes and I've seen a couple in the county but I would think now you'd have to be rich to own one and the TV listings in the paper used to have coordinates listed for cable channels like Lifetime or USA (owned by Comcast now). With carriage disputes popping up a lot in recent years (there was one with Cablevision as early as the late '80s over MSG which they later bought and spun off), if your favourite channel is gone for a while it makes you want to switch though the provider will say it just tells the channel you're settling for their rise though they all work out eventually.